How to Do Demand Generation the Right Way: An In-Depth Guide

Cassy Aite
July 28, 2022
How to Do Demand Generation the Right Way: An In-Depth Guide

If you thought demand generation is only about creating demand for your product, we have news for you: it’s way more than that.

Demand generation is a blanket term for various engagement marketing activities — lead generation, demand capture, and pipeline acceleration — aimed at, you guessed it, driving engagement. It includes a series of touchpoints to create awareness of customer pain points, position your brand as a trusted advisor, generate leads, sell your product, and nurture brand loyalty.

It’s a long-term process. Long-term is key here.

You see, demand generation isn’t a quick fix. It’s a comprehensive and continuous process comprising dedicated inbound marketing strategies, social interactions, sudden pop-up events, weekly emails, and more importantly, boost engagement.

If you do it right, demand generation marketing will help you create awareness around issues most relevant to your target audience, provide your sales team with qualified leads to close more deals, and leverage marketing to drive revenue.

What is demand generation?

Demand generation is a blanket term for engagement marketing activities

At its core, demand generation involves creating an active interest in your product to build a steady pipeline of qualified leads for your sales team. Besides arousing your audience’s curiosity to learn more about your product, it also follows them through their customers' journey to elicit genuine interest in your offering. 

Think of it as effective customer engagement throughout the sales funnel.

Here’s how demand gen works — a customer is looking for a solution to an issue they are facing. Ideally, they encounter your offering as one of their potential choices. They then research and engage further to evaluate how well your product meets their needs before finally making a purchase decision.

Demand generation goals to achieve

Setting clear goals paves the way for more successful marketing campaigns

Before implementing any demand generation strategy, ask yourself the following:

  • When considering demand generation, what’s your organization currently lacking?
  • What tactics can you apply to bring the biggest change and drive ROI?

Setting clear goals will make you 429% more likely to have successful marketing campaigns, and knowing the answers to the above questions will help you set realistic and objective goals based on your sales/marketing lifecycle.

Instead of covering demand generation metrics, we’ve listed a few baseline demand generation goals you can aim for when executing your demand generation plan.

Have more marketing-influenced leads

Experienced marketers first and foremost aim to get more marketing-influenced leads.

But demand generation isn’t only about getting more leads — it also involves quickly converting them to revenue. For this, your sales and marketing team should be on the same page about a qualified lead, including who they are, when to reach out, and how to nurture and convert them. 

You should also clarify what marketing-influenced leads mean for your brand (top of funnel, middle of funnel, or bottom of funnel).

Once this is sorted, use inbound marketing initiatives like content syndication, social media, and email and paid search to attract a high volume of quality marketing-influenced leads.

Boosting conversion rates and efficiency

Once you capture a lead, consider how you can convert them into a happy and returning customer.

Analyzing your sales funnel is a good starting point. Identify any “choke points,” where conversion rates are lower than desirable. Also, eliminate any roadblocks and look for opportunities to reinforce nurturing sequences in each stage of the customer lifecycle.

Making these changes will not only increase lead velocity, but it’ll also help you have meaningful conversations.

Next, take measures to increase your conversion efficiency. To calculate efficiency, add the total number of working hours and divide them by the pipeline value. Use these insights to improve your company‘s overall marketing efficiency and pivot potential catastrophes.

Building a strong marketing team

Having a demand-focused, powerful marketing team is key to your company’s long-term survival. While you can use different methods to build a solid team for your organization, prioritize filling the following roles to cover all bases:

  • The leader. This person is your marketing team pillar — one that gets stuff done and will lead the team to victory. Desirable qualities include management and coaching skills and being a doer.
  • The SEO expert. This person knows SEO best practices and tactics and can position your business as an expert in your industry through optimizing search engine results.
  • The developer. This person knows web development — and knows it well. They are available to build optimized and excellent web experiences to drive meaningful demand generation.
  • The content expert. This person is the wordsmith of your team — the master of writing. They should be able to draft excellent blog posts, email copy, social media posts, or tweets. 
  • The analytics expert. This person knows data like the back of their hand. They can review information to make demand generation recommendations based on their expertise and incoming insights.
  • The customer advocate. This person has a thorough understanding of your target personas and acts as the customer’s advocate in all marketing activities, ensuring your brand’s messaging is valuable and relevant to your target audience’s needs.

You don’t need separate people for each of the roles. One person can fill multiple roles — just ensure they have the right skills and expertise to do the job.

Faster New Technology Adoption

Adding the right technology to your existing tech stack will make your operations more efficient — provided you integrate it effectively. 

When adopting new technology, ensure each team member is familiar with the tools and can use them quickly and efficiently. Create a good technology onboarding process that gives your staff access to the relevant data, insights, and other information they may need to get them started. Make sure everyone is on the same page and can work the same systems adequately.

Without a satisfactory onboarding process, your staff may have to deal with unnecessary confusion, slowdowns, or worse, loss of crucial information. 

Make data-driven decisions

When executing demand generation strategies, you‘ll get access to clean data that you can use later to drive maximum business value and create satisfied, high-value customers. 

Before that, you’ll need to dissect, organize, and disseminate insights across all stakeholder groups to avoid common dirty data consequences like duplicate data, missing figures, and wrong or invalid emails.

Committing to clean data will help you carry out routine analysis and data assessments with significant ease, allowing you to streamline your organization’s demand generation practices and repeatedly deliver valuable lead nurturing.

The most popular demand generation channels

There are 4 main demand generation channels every marketer should know

Your customers are getting better than ever at ignoring traditional marketing tactics. Think: social media ads, billboards, and online banner ads. That’s why you need to refocus your demand generation efforts and carefully choose the channels to prioritize.

Here are the four main categories of demand generation and distribution channels you can consider to maximize your reach and results:

1. Search

You may have the world‘s best website and blog, but it’ll make no difference if your target audience cannot find it. That’s where search engines come into the picture.

Optimizing your content so that it appears on Google’s first page is arguably the most effective yet cheapest way to create product and brand awareness. But beware, getting your content to the top is an uphill battle. 

Tailor your content to perform better by applying SEO best practices — simple and complicated both. Sometimes you may simply need to add certain keywords across your content; other times, you'll have to understand the intent of organic search visitors to ensure your content addresses their needs.

If you want faster results where you also have more control over where your content appears, paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) would be more effective.

In a PPC campaign, you can increase and decrease the distribution volume based on your budget, as well as choose which search terms would trigger your content to appear. PPC is an excellent method for demand capture because it leverages consumer behavior. You see, people are more likely to click on search ads when actively looking for a solution. 

2. Email

Consumers prefer to receive brand offers through email compared to any other channel but considering the average click-through rate is just 1.11% means you still need to put in the effort and make your emails stand out.

The best way to do this is to offer your subscribers valuable content. Think newsletters with highly relevant articles, promotions that meet your readers' interest, segmented email streams based on subscriber behavior, or thought-provoking and interesting content. 

The other advantage of using email for demand generation is it allows you to have one-on-one interactions with your customers. If you go about this right, you’ll surely see huge results.

3. Social media

Similar to search, you can take organic and paid approaches to social media distribution. While paid social media marketing is generally more effective, organic social can have a huge impact on the buyer journey if you approach it with realistic expectations.

Publish a consistent stream of high-quality content across your social media channels. Even small interactions likely tweeting and commenting counts. You can also offer enticing offers like excuse discount codes, hold surveys and polls, and other things that can excite your audience, encouraging them to check out your content and products.

The aim here is to make customers feel that they are connecting with your brand.

Paid social media, on the other hand, involves amplifying your organic posts to ensure your followers see and engage with your content. Think of it as a method to expand your reach. Be sure to add a strong CTA asking the reader to take action. Be clear and specific. Otherwise, there’s no point in promoting your content.

Also, try to figure out the right balance between off and content that benefits your brand positioning, makes for an interesting and fun read, and provides thought leadership. This is important if you want to engage with your audience for the longer term.

4. Advertisements

Advertising has come a long way. From old-school TV commercials and billboards to Instagram and Facebook, today you have a lot more control over where your online media is seen and who sees it.

Ideally, you want your content displayed across specific channels and websites frequented by your target audience. We highly recommend using retargeting ads that let you reach your audience beyond the first interaction, allowing you to make an even stronger impression. These ads follow people through different social media channels, successfully keeping your brand at the top of their minds.

At the same time, you don’t want to come up as overbearing. Set a frequency cap that limits the number of times people encounter your ad.

If you’re confused about which demand generation channel to choose, look at this comparison table from First Page Sage.

Different demand generation channels have different ROI

Besides the obvious thought leadership, SEO and email, you can also take advantage of virtual events by holding successful webinars and podcasts to engage with your target audience more directly than other digital channels.

3 effective demand generation strategies to ensure success

Effective demand generation is always backed by strong strategies. Here are our tried-and-tested tips that will ensure your campaigns hit the right mark.

Research your audience thoroughly

Audience research is a crucial part of data-driven demand generation. The better you know your target audience, the more likely you are to brainstorm ideas that resonate with their needs and values.

To get started, create a customer avatar or buyer persona. This will help you get a good feel of your target audience, after which you can use different research techniques to understand your target audience better. Here are a few ideas:

  • Analyzing your competitors
  • Using Google Analytics
  • Looking into industry trends
  • Carrying out surveys and interviews

In-depth audience research is a gold mine of information. You can learn about your customer’s values, interests, likes, dislikes, and other things, making it easier to determine what they need and which ideas are likely to create the right buzz and generate demand. 

Create original and valuable content

Did you know marketers spend a quarter of their budget on content marketing? 

This makes sense considering about 70% of consumers prefer learning about a brand by reading their content. It also helps people who have never heard about your brand find you.

Consumers want to read more brand content

But before that, you need to create valuable content that solves a problem the target audience is facing. Ensure it answers the general questions your customers are asking and has the relevant keywords appear higher in the SERPs. Don’t regurgitate what’s already out there, though. Be original.

As your content crops up in response to search inquiries, you’ll find your organic traffic growing swiftly.

You can also try curating a multimedia content presence. Create a mix of written content, images, and video content that establishes your authority on a given subject. While you're at it, interlink between the different forms of content naturally by adding backlinks. This will help enhance all the content you create, maximizing your content marketing efforts.

Don’t skip A/B testing

Marketing is a tricky, tricky field. We think we know what content and messaging would resonate best with your audience, but without the research, it’s just guesswork. There will always be an element of the unknown.

What’s the best way to collect this in-depth research? A/B testing.

Split testing every element in your content strategy is a time-consuming but rewarding process. You can use it to determine the right components to create solid machinery, which includes:

  • The content type that would best meet your business objectives and interest your audience
  • The posting schedule/frequency that gets you more traffic
  • Headlines, images, and CTAs your audience react to most
  • Your audience’s preferred content length 

Do this right, and you’ll significantly increase engagement and improve the effectiveness of your demand generation campaigns.

Besides the above tips, you can also use Hoppier to bolster your demand generation efforts. 

Hoppier can bolster your demand generation efforts

Send your target customers enticing incentives that work to make them take the intended action. For example, if you want to reduce no-shows at your webinar, you can give them Visa cards that let them order from millions of vendors globally. Or offer them gift cards for Amazon, Udemy, or even Starbucks.

At its core, Hoppier is the most convenient way to send virtual rewards.

Intrigued? Sign up for a free demo to experience the magic yourself.

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Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

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Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo


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